The government has once again extended the deadline for filing income tax returns. On Monday, the Central Board of Direct Taxes said taxpayers can now file their returns until 5 August as against earlier 31 July. Thankfully so.
But the truth is extension of this deadline is a routine for the govenrment?
Let’s take a look at the last year. The CBDT extended the due date for submission of ITR for people of Jammu & Kashmir from 31 August 2016 to 30 September 2016, due to dislocation of general life in certain areas of the state. For the rest of India, the due date was extended from 31 July to 5 August. The reason cited was an all-India bank strike on 29 July which was a Friday and 31 July was a Sunday, a bank holiday.
In fact, in 2015, the deadline for filing ITR was extended to 31 August from 31 July for the entire country. However, Gujarat got an additional seven days "due to dislocation of life in general in the state", probably due to the floods. But soon this grace deadline was extended to the rest of India as well.
If you go way back four years to 2013, the due date for filing returns was extended to 14 October from 30 September due to heavy rains and floods in Gujarat. Similarly, the deadline was extended to 31 October 2013 for assessees of Uttarakhand due to the natural calamity there. For rest of the country, the deadline was extended to 31 July to 5 August.
A few years ago, CDBT extended the deadline to 31 August, as there was a massive power grid failure in northern India.
In short, when it comes to extended deadlines, CBDT has been very considerate of its citizens. However, this year has been different. There are many issues that the citizens are facing, including the PAN-Aadhaar linking. Still the government indicated it will not extend the deadline and finally gave a relief in a last-minute volte face. This amounts to brinkmanship, to say the least.
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Updated Date: Aug 01, 2017 13:48:58 IST